Russia or rather the former USSR to be more precise had a very high quality educational system, especially in certain areas dear to the Russian soul such as mathematics and art, less so in other areas such as medicine where quantity seems to have had a higher priority.

There are Russian peculiarities embedded here that are not immediately understandable to the average westerner, for example I heard back in the tough '98 era that the Russian mafia / bandit organizations would not touch artists, and had that anecdotally confirmed once in an odd encounter.

I'm not knowledgeable in detail about this, never having lived there, perhaps some of the Russian participants could comment.